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The Dragonborn is no longer the most popular kid on the block. All the cool kids are into defending the ancients.
Valve’s Dota 2 strategy game just broke The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim’s record for the most concurrent players on the Steam gaming network. Dota 2 reached 297,010 simultaneous gamers on March 2. That beats Skyrim’s 287,411 players on the game’s launch day in November 2011.
Dota 2 is Valve’s entry in the popular multiplayer online battle arena genre. Other popular examples include League of Legends, Heroes of Newerth, and Guardians of Middle-earth. These games continue to grow in popularity largely due to huge presence in the competitive gaming scene.
In August, Valve held a Dota 2 tournament with a $1.6 million prize pool. Events like these are clearly replacing traditional marketing budgets, and it’s obviously working. You can see in the above chart that Dota 2 is growing rapidly.